Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday Morning Coffee

Morning everyone (though it's probably afternoon in the uk). I'm done with classes for the semester (yay!), so I'm having a huge cappuccino to celebrate. Thanks for all your responses to last Friday's coffee break on description.

Today I thought we could talk about music. I think the song that would sum up my novel would be Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right." I have to leave for work now, but I'll post my novel's soundtrack in a bit.

Does your novel have a soundtrack? Do you know what's on your characters' ipods? Is there one song that captures the essence of what your novel's about?

19 comments:

Captain Black said...

Most of my fiction is very influenced by music. Everything from titles, lyrics to the music itself. Here are some titles of my writings. See if you can guess which music they were inspired from (or lifted completely)...

Blood On The Rooftops
The Bridge Across Forever
Natural Science
Tormato

I usually try to work in a few phrases in the main text as a "nod" to my musical influences.

NoviceNovelist said...

The soundtrack to my novel is a big 80's, cheesy, stadium rock one!

Off to work also!!!!

Leatherdykeuk said...

I tend to play mostly Classical, so the soundtrack would be that ;) Felicia (the werewolf) has a penchant for Madonna

Caroline said...

I can't have music with my writing/novels. I have sounds and nursey rhymes, but no songlist.

I don't know why.

Lucy Diamond said...

I don't have music either - I find it too distracting. Love the sound of the werewolf Madonna fan though!

Up to 71,000 words and on a bit of a roll...

Lazy Perfectionista said...

It's good to be back at the coffee break - I've been soooooo busy recently!

I listen to a lot of music when I'm writing, and some scenes have become inextricably linked with the songs that I was listening to when I wrote them. Music is such a huge part of my life, and it also plays a part in my characters' lives, though to differing extents. Finding a song or a piece of music that encapsulates the tone of a scene, or even the whole story, makes everything gel and gives the words an extra sparkle. My provisional chapter titles are all lines from songs. I've always thought that if I ever got published, I'd include a list of the music I associate with each chapter.

PS I'm looking forward to meeting up tomorrow!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Music is extremely important to me and to my writing. Not least because the w-i-p is, in part, a journey through my head and the cultural landscape I have had contact with. As that has been built in large part around music then it inevitably plays in the background (metaphorically and literally). I'm currently negotiating for the right to use quotes from a song lyric as the titles of the four books.

Although this first book doesn't have a lot of music in the background, when I move on to the late fifties and the fairground, then the late 60s and the countercultural scene it will inform the whole structure of the book.

I love film music, especially if I haven't seen the film. That way I can allow it to work at the emotional level it is designed to unlock. Mostly, however, I just chuck on some Hawkwind, Alan Davey, Dave Brock, or for something a tad more mellow, a bit of Roy Harper, Tull, Floyd. They all provide a psychic energy for which I am always grateful.

The only time I cannot listening is when I am redrafting. Then I need the absolute silence to found in the early hours of the morning. Me with my hands in a small pool of light along with with paper and a red pen. That makes music all of its own.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Every once in a while, I'll have a character singing, but for the most part, music doesn't enter into the mix. I generally don't listen to music while I'm writing, except for the odd occasion where I need to get into a tense scene and use my mix tape of harsh music - Bush, Jane's Addiction, etc. - to get myself there. (Yes, folks, I still use cassettes on occasion.)

Calistro said...

Sometimes I like silence when I'm writing (especially if it's a particularly tricky scene and I need to think) but mostly I like writing to music. That said I can't be too familiar with the lyrics or I find myself singing along (and sometimes typing a word from the lyrics instead of the one in my head!). Classical music is a good replacement as is, I found recently, music sung in a foreign language. I was listening to Edif Piaf the other day and thought it was excellent to write to. Lots of emotion but, because my Frenc A Level is a bit rusty, I can't distracted by the lyrics.

The main character in novel #1 is really into disco music and indie so the soundtrack would probably include tracks like "Dancing Queen" by Abba, "I Wanna Be Adored" by the Stone Roses and "Pictures of You" by The Cure.

If there's a song that represents the whole of novel #1 it would probably be "When I Fall in Love" by Nat King Cole or something equally romantic.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I find it hard to concentrate on my writing if there's music in the background. Always have done. However, I do have one piece of classical which has inspired my novel; Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni. If my novel were ever a film (a bit of daydreaming needed here), I would have that manuscript played as the film reached its end.

CJ xx

L-Plate Author said...

I can't have music playing at all when I'm drafting/redrafting and when I'm editing I can switch off from the background but I like to work in silence wherever possible.

As for soundtracks, wow, there are so many. I would say book one 'I'll get by with a little help from my friends', book two, 'Things can only get better' and book three 'Would I lie to you'.

Cracking question. xx

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Silence captures the essence of what my novel is about, I think. Real, tangible silence; the sound of silence (and I don't mean the Simon & Garfunkel track, iconic though it undoubtedly is). Only one of my characters has an iPod, and I don't know what's on it. (I would if it was my POV character though. But she can't hear what's coming through his headphones, so I can't either.)

KayJay said...

Blimey, it's another vote for Nelly Furtado's 'Say it Right'! Are we writing the same book...?

I can't listen to music while I'm actually writing, and rarely when I'm editing (perhaps something unobtrusive but inspirational, like Afro Celt Sound System), but I do associate certain tracks with certain bits of work. 'Say it Right' is that track for my chick lit novel, and I'm going all a bit Seth Lakeman for my new kid's book.

Great question!

ChrisH said...

Late, I'm afraid. Wish I could work to music but I just end up listening instead of writing!

Lane said...

Do you know, I hadn't even thought about music in my novel but you've given me an idea. Thank you!:-)

I write in silence, or as near as I can possibly get to silence:-)

Clare Sudbery said...

Blimey, I haven't a clue!

But I have quoted an Alabama 3 lyric at the start of the book, and I did listen to all my 5 Alabama 3 albums on shuffle on my iPod VERY LOUD to help motivate me whilst I was writing the last bits of the book and was getting a bit fed up of the whole thing, so they seem like the obvious choice.

Although my dreams have soundtracks and I normally have music in my head, I don't connect music to my fiction at all. My conceptual grasp of my writing is always visual. I could tell what each of my books, and each of my chapters, 'looked' like, or at least I could try. They each have a visual representation in my head, but it's a weird combination of abstract and concrete, normally a three-way combination of how the text looks on a key page in the chapter, along with some images connected to events in the chapter, and all put together on a visual representation of timeline, which kind of scrolls from left to right but also has up-and-downy bits too. Hard to pin down but definitely there.

wordtryst said...

I'm fickle; sometimes I work well with music, and at other times I need silence.

Music is an influence, though. Some of my favourite love songs turned up in my first novel in the scene where the couple first danced; the title of the second novel is a nod to a song I love, and the mood of that song also permeates the novel. Right now I can't recall whether I tailored the novel around the atmosphere of the song, or whether the atmosphere suggested the song.

The last chapter of a memoir I've written is the title of a song, and the music is inextricably entwined with the ending. There's another story set in the time of my childhood, and when I want to recapture the mood and associations of those years, I think of or play the music from that time.

Thought provoking post. It seems that just like music plays a large part in my 'real' life, it also does in my writing.

Debs said...

I like to write in silence and couldn't concentrate if I had music in the background.

I've no idea what song would sum up my novel. Music, or thinking of certain parts of a song can help inspire me to write for a particular mood or scene but I don't actually listen to it as I work.

I shall have to go and have a think now.

DK Leather said...

Fascinating question!

My answer was a surprise to me because frankly I have a love of music bordering on fanatical, however when I'm writing I truly fade out everything.

People have been known to have entire conversations with me before realising I'm lost in my head and on the words coming from my fingertips.

I'm the same with writing as reading, no matter what's playing or going on around me, I miss it completely!